The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien

Challenge 22 ~ “The first book in a new-to-you series.”


★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer, and an academy like the Forge School would definitely have been on my radar (not that I’d have been at all keen on the reality TV aspect). I was drawn in by both the title and the blurb and, when I saw the book on the library shelves, it immediately jumped to the top of my to-be-read book, even though we were in the middle of exam season. Less than a week later (because I really did have to do some revision) and I was in no way regretting picking up O’Brien’s book.

For me, there were two main strengths to the book: its originality and its unpredictability. O’Brien’s story is not one I’ve encountered before, and it was kept lively with so many twists that even I did not see coming. Towards the end I became hesitant – things seemed to be advancing in a fairly stereotypical and predictable manner – but O’Brien gave a fantastic twist to create a fabulous conclusion that really did justice to the entire novel. Sure, there were some elements that were a little stereotypical for a young adult book set at a school – untrustworthy teachers, controversial romances and something happening at night – but The Vault of Dreamers made them unique unto their own, and these soon became strong (and sometimes enjoyable) parts within the story.

What I’m not sure on, is how this is going to work as a series. In a way, I am rather intrigued as to quite where Rosie is, what has happened to Linus and what is going to happen next as a whole, but at the same time the ambiguity and open-to-interpretation ending is a perfect fit for the novel. Consequently, I’m not anxiously anticipating the next book – instead I am a little hesitant as to whether it will prove to be an enticing instalment or a dragged-out and pointless follow-up.

The Vault of Dreamers brings something a little bit different to the young adult genre. Full with incredible writing and an unusual, unpredictable plot, O’Brien forges a novel that is a truly delightful read, blending several popular elements in young adult fiction. With a strong start, action-packed middle, and expertly-crafted ending, The Vault of Dreamers is a truly enjoyable read from start to finish.

Recommended for fans of:

  • Matched by Ally Condie
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  • Necropolis by Anthony Horowitz

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